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12 Oct 2011

Vol.47 (En)

Please contact us at 9672-0104 or send email to (Mr. Terunuma)

Does sexy clothes have any impact on a woman's promotion?

LinkedIn research of over 1,000 Singaporeans sparks debate on this issue.

While Japan is moving into cold winter, Singapore is still in the midst of hot or hotter (I feel) summer. Speaking of heat, the issue of women's “hot" clothing at the office has become a talking point, triggered off by social network LinkedIn's survey of nearly 1,000 Singaporean business people.

The questions covered in the survey included these:
"Will you be bothered by revealing clothes at the workplace?"
"How much display of skin is acceptable?"

Only 29 per cent of males surveyed found this to be a problem but 57 per cent of females expressed discomfort. The Straits Times newspaper conducted a quick survey on the same issue which showed that although many are not bothered by a show of cleavage, they may find it distracting – not only for males but also for females.

"In the workplace, if you want to project some form of power, you should cover up more," says Ms Pang Li Kin, founding director of image consultancy Potenxia. She adds: "A woman gets more respect if she's more covered up."

A further study on the theme covered actual cases of women who dressed in sexy clothing in a professional environment. It revealed that they were being passed over for promotion more often than those in more conservative clothing.

"If a woman wants to be taken seriously, she should dress more appropriately, particularly in Asia as dressing provocatively may give male colleagues the wrong idea," says Mrs Jaqueline Tan-Thoo, who manages a diploma course in human resource management with psychology at the Singapore Polytechnic Business School.

The clear message for women: Think twice about flaunting your sex appeal in an extreme way at work.

What about the people in your office? Are they dressed well or do they reveal too much skin?